Former EUCOM Commander Dies

Retired Army Gen. Bernard W. Rogers. (Official Department of Defense file photo)

STUTTGART, Germany — Former Commander in Chief of U.S. European Command, retired Army Gen. Bernard W. Rogers, died Oct. 27 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va. He was 87 years old.

Rogers was appointed Supreme Allied Commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command in July 1979. He retired from active duty in June 1987.

He served as EUCOM Commander in Chief during a critical period for NATO and EUCOM, including during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Beirut barracks bombing, Operation Eldorado Canyon against Libya and the controversial deployment of Pershing II and Ground Launched Cruise Missiles. Through an alliance of strength, victory by the West was secured in the Cold War during his tenure at EUCOM.

Rogers spent an unprecedented eight years as the commander of NATO and EUCOM due to his leadership and statesmanship. This, coupled with his knowledge and experience as a Soldier and warrior, allowed both organizations to become stronger than in any time in their history.

At the conclusion of his service with NATO and EUCOM, Rogers' accomplishments were recognized with the presentation of the Defense, Army, Navy and Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, in addition to numerous foreign awards and decorations.

Born in Fairview, Kansas, Rogers entered and later graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1943 as a second lieutenant in the infantry. Prior to West Point, he completed a tour as an enlisted Soldier in the Kansas Army National Guard.

Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, president of the Association of the U.S. Army's Council of Trustees said, "Today, our nation lost a great American Soldier, warrior, scholar, statesman and patriot who served his country in uniform with distinction, dedication and honor for 44 years."

He is survived by his wife, Ann E. Rogers, McLean, Va., a son, Michael W., and two daughters, Diane Opperman and Susan Kroetch.

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